Urban Languages



The walls of Havana speak. They need to be heard by those who love them. Many try, but few attain. It’s not just spending time amongst them, not even physically is enough. The spirit of city lies amogst it’s people, but also in the rise and fall of its stones. Havana knows very well about aging quickly, see how a wall loses its luster, its painting, to show us then what drowse under the surface. Overlapping paintings: red gives way to yellow and this is overshadowed by various shades of blue. The cracks that define the territory of accidents, structural failures and a hand that leaves a phone number scraped on the lime. It all comes together here.


To touch beyond what the eye gives sight; something that lies in the dark side of this city requires an advanced degree of training beyond day-to-day. Not many of us stop to observe the stain left by the moisture in our homes. In the best cases we try to cover it with a fresh coat of paint (grout, marble or vinyl) that soon will also be ruined.


These walls are the thread for If These Walls Could Talk (Barcelona, 2011). Splendid photographs of Pablo Tarrero Segarra that place in front of our eyes the marks of time and people. The sequence of walls shown here, puts us in front of a gallery of abstractions; small islands of diverse textures, that become exposed by the layers of random paint drops.


The poets César López and Luis Marré share their space with the photographer who attempts unusual angles to place the lens. In the case of Caesar, a window in his home (reproduce its namesake poem), the studio and the old armchair where the man assists us against time; In order to reach Marré we have a worn door, full of signs, accurate guides to access the conversation in his home stronghold.


A suggestive photo, which allows us to better define our timelessness is Suelos I. The land covered by hydraulic tiles, with multiple designs, loose, placed side by side. If we could follow the route of each of them, the house or building from which they were extracted, we would have another map of the city.


The walls of this city speak. We must prepare ourselfs to perceive: laments, smiles, complaints, howls, that are conceived and live together every moment. The photographer aproaches these memories with passion. Discards any picturesque stroke from an ongoing dialogue with that underground beauty that we live with some degree of ignorance. Trying to understand the value of each trace. The most elementary gesture, the glare is surrounded by the light of a city with angel. Converses with the mystery, without revealing it, only pretending to inhabit the shadows and lights of this Havana sometimes phantasmagoric or telluric that seduces and frightens alike.



Rafael Enrique Hernández, La Habana.

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